“I see that you do,” said Cazaril dryly. But was this drunken stupidity, or the world’s simplest form of assassination? A duel to first blood, approved practice and outlet for high spirits among young courtly hotheads, followed by The sword slipped, upon my honour! He ran upon it! and whatever number of paid witnesses one could afford to confirm it.
– Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion
Recently finished reading this book, picking it up looking for a quick and entertaining read, and it delievered for the most part but I was still left slightly disappointed.
The world of chalion was beautiful, and terrible, and I loved that despite how dark the book went at times, the writing remained light and filled with humour. Characters dry remarks made me laugh out loud, and Cazaril’s unimpressed views on court were especially humorous. Its a clever book too, that explores the idea of gods and their relationship with the world and its people in a fascinating manner, and a depth that fantasy rarely touches upon. I found this to be one of the strongest parts of the book.
However this book is not without flaws. I found myself rolling my eyes at the ‘twists’ the plot takes; at times events felt very…convenient. Everything fell together in a very neat manner, which does take away some of the tension as you know that everything will end up happily, all problems conveniently solved. And I didn’t feel attached or intrigued by any of the characters because I didn’t really think they came alive, they too felt like they were whatever the plot required of them. Perhaps events were supposed to feel so manipulated, with the theme of the gods, but I still didn’t like it.
I’d be lying if I said this book didn’t grip me,as I finished it in a matter of days, but it left barely any impression behind. It was missing a certain something? Just something about this book did not connect with me. The in depth exploration of the gods and how they affect the world of chalion makes it welll worth reading however its not going to become a favourite any time soon. I have since found that this is part of a series and I’m not sure I’ll be checking out the next books. :/